The Twickenham MP met with higher education leaders this week to discuss proposed funding cuts.

In a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University and CEO of London Higher, the MP gave an update on her efforts to stop the Government proposal.

The proposed removal of London weighting from the teaching grant is predicted to cost London universities £64 million.

The MP said: “This levelling down of London’s higher education will impact some of the most disadvantaged students in the country at the worst possible time.

“In Parliament, I have challenged Ministers on this discriminatory anti-London policy, and I am leading a cross party motion expressing deep concern about the Department for Education’s actions.

“Cutting funding to universities like St Mary’s which educate the next generation of key workers is a terrible policy and I will continue to fight for London’s students.”

CEO of London Higher, Diana Beech, emphasised the “great strain” institutions are currently facing.

She said: “An across the board cut to London university funding threatens up to 1000 jobs in the sector and could result in the reduction of student support services, just when they are needed most.

“We are particularly worried about maintaining mental health services at a time when they are under great strain due to the Covid pandemic.”

Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s, Anthony McClaran, raised concerns for BAME students.

He said: “St Mary’s University students are 32% BAME and 62% meet at least one of the widening participation criteria. These are the students that need the most support and will be hardest hit by these cuts.

“Many of our students are from non-traditional university backgrounds, and St Mary’s University provides these students with a transformational experience, levelling up their life opportunities and graduate outcomes.

“This cut will have an impact on the targeted support we can offer, at a time when we know students and young people will need more support than ever before, when we emerge from this crisis.”